Archive | February, 2012

Proper Clay Pot Cooking – 63 of 365

Alright, who’s in the mood for some proper clay pot cooking?   Forget that caramel chicken mess thrown into its sad room temperature bowl from last week down in the backpackers district.  Oh, you’re asking what the heck is clay pot food?  Well follow me to Com 37 at 37 Ly Tu Trong and we will sample a most proper $1.50 […]

Chicken Feet – 62 of 365

Thats different, forty one (41) years ago I had to fight my way through this country and this guys eats his way though it. This rather sage pronouncement came in response to a tv story about this culinary journey of 365 meals.   To be sure Vietnam is a different world today than two score and one year […]

Squid Blimps (A Winner!) – 61 of 365

Visions of that soda can giving birth to Black Chicken still run vivid in my imagination.  He proved my culinary journey is still relegated to the farm teams and just not ready for the prime time major leagues.  For sure going off the trail in a country where tip to tail cooking is a way of […]

Throwdown! with Saigon – 60 of 365

My friend Toby recently wondered which Vietnamese dish at Wei Pei Restaurant in America is most authentic.  Since a cold lemongrass noodle dish seems not to exist anywhere in Vietnam, we settled on caramel chicken as the perfect introduction to Vietnamese cuisine at this chain offshoot of PF Changs.   And please note caramel here is not the candy but rather high heat […]

Some Viet-Greek Takeaway – 59 of 365

How does a flakey baguette stuffed with crispy bacon tasting meat sound?  Some fried pig fat makes anything taste good, right?  Now add some seriously ripe sweet tomatoes, American style cole slaw, crunchy cucumber slices, and cilantro.  Mayonnaise and hot sauce squirted from dirty plastic bottles round out this taste sensation better known as a “doner kebab.”  Add waffle […]

From Market to Table – 58 of 365

Think about that delicious meal you just shared with family or friends.   The pot roast and potatoes probably had quite the mundane journey halfway across the country from some Chicago factory to Salt Lake and finally to your kitchen where it all may have awaited its fate for days in the refrigerator.  The beef most likely arrived home in a plastic wrapped […]

Beer Can Chicken – 57 of 365

Do Vietnamese people say any sort of mealtime prayer before ingesting some of their delicacies?  During the full moon people arrive by the hundreds at Buddhist temples to appease the gods in creative ways such as burning fake American money.  So surely the concept of prayer exists.  Maybe the dinner table scene plays out something like this:  […]

Cooking 101 – 56 of 365

Watching an eight year roast meat to browned perfection on Junior Masterchef Australia can make any of us feel bad about our own recent cooking debacles.   The judges oooh and aaah over seemingly edible finished products, and the winning roast chicken isn’t some entire bird hacked to pieces a la Saigon.  Maybe these judges are just being nice and […]

Fried Blood Cockles – 55 of 365

The metal and glass case filled with bowls of mollusks and shells at Cô Bảy 3 on Nguyen Huu Canh screams “try me, try me.”  The waitress’ face screams something else though.  Yes, we all know that look of rolling eyes and almost imperceptible head shaking.  This girl didn’t care about my dining needs.  No, that look meant “Oh for the love of Buddha what the […]

A Non-Pork Pork Soup – 54 of 365

My friend Kevin has opened the doors to a side of Saigon’s cuisine relatively untouched by us western folk.   His website gohalalplanet.com assists mainly Indonesian and Malaysian visitors to Vietnam who seek out halal cuisine.  For a second time in so many weeks I hopped on the back of his motorbike and off we went into the […]